January 16: SDGs are on the agenda at Norway’s largest conference on food and agriculture

The 2018 Food and Agriculture conference discusses topics of relevance to the agriculture and food production industry for both developed and developing countries. Topics on the agenda include:

  • Achieving the SDGs
  • Digital farming for sustainable living
  • Green and sustainable research
  • Climate friendly solutions for the agricultural sector

Speakers include:

  • Anita Krohn Traaseth, Innovation Norway
  • Bjørn Haugland, DNV GL
  • Jon Georg Dale, Norwegian Government

Location: Oslo, Norway

Event website – Norwegian Agriculture Cooperation

Norway Agriculture Nutrition

Indian patent authority gives Pfizer monopoly on pneumonia medicine in India

The Indian patent authority has prolonged Pfizer’s monopoly on pneumonia medicine in India. The humanitarian health organization Médicines Sans Frontiéres (MSF) has appealed the decision to the Indian Supreme Court and pledges to continue the fight against expensive vaccines. It points out that the cost of fully vaccinating a child in accordance with the recommendations of the World Health Organization is 68 times more expensive than in 2001, and it places much of the blame on the practice of monopolizing vaccines. "The decision to grant patent to Pfizer is not only important in India – it has an effect on all middle and low income countries", said Øyunn Holen, medical director of MSF Norway.

News report – Bistandsaktuelt (in Norwegian)

Norway Global health

Centre for Development and Environment Director argues lack of public awareness slows progress toward SDGs

Dan Banik, Research Director at the University of Oslo’s Centre for Development and Environment, argues in an op-ed that there is a pressing need to implement campaigns to increase knowledge of the SDGs among the general public. While there is evidence of greater engagement from the private sector, it is usually motivated by self-interest, and to meet the SDGs the political system has to be built around solving these challenges, Banik argues. That includes academia, civil society, the private sector, and national governments.

Op-ed – Bistandsaktuelt (in Norwegian)


Norway pledges additional US$5 million to UN's emergency response

Norway has pledged to increase its annual contribution to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) from US$47 million to US$52 million for the next four years. According to Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide, this will increase predictability for partner organizations and make humanitarian operations funded by Norway more efficient.

The UN has recently called for US$22.5 billion in funding to meet the needs of humanitarian operations in 2018. The CERF is an important part of the international first-line response to crises. 

Press release - Government of Norway (in Norwegian)


Norway calls for creation of UN summit on tax and financial transparency

The Secretary General of Norwegian Church Aid, Anne-Marie Helland, has called for the creation of a Norwegian-initiated UN summit on tax and financial transparency. The summit would be the first step towards ensuring a fairer global tax system, to which developing states currently lose over US$200 billion a year. Helland urged the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ine Eriksen Søreide, to increase efforts to strengthen tax institutions, and claimed that there will be strong support for such an initiative from both civil society and the private sector.

News article - Bistandsaktuelt (in Norwegian)


Development Fund highlights importance of agriculture and food security for development

Development Fund Norway, an NGO that supports small-scale farmers in their fight against hunger and poverty, released a report on December 6, 2017 entitled ‘Food, War and Peace: Vulnerable States and Food Production’. The report argues that Norwegian efforts to improve living conditions in developing states must focus on food security and agriculture. In particular, Norwegian initiatives should seek to:

  • Secure living conditions, food production, and land rights;
  • Invest in youth, their rights and abilities within food production;
  • Increase investments in new climate-adapted agricultural tools and methods.

According to the report, food security and local agriculture contribute to the bedrock of development.

Website - The Development Fund (in Norwegian)

Norway Agriculture

Norad director highlights 3 actions to eradicate HIV/AIDS by 2030

Jon Lomøy, director of the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) and board member of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM), has laid out three crucial elements for achieving the end of the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030, in an op-ed in the Norwegian publication Bistandsaktuelt. 

  • Predictable funding from donor states, earmarked for global health: Funding to global health initiatives has not increased since 2010, although the population and the needs have increased. Continued efforts to lower the prices for medicines is also highly effective.
  • Human-rights based approach to reach everyone affected: HIV thrives in areas with human-rights violations, and hits vulnerable groups especially hard. Broad alliances and enhanced efforts to secure implementation and maintenance of human rights and non-discrimination are essential.
  • Universal health care through a strong health-care system: HIV targeted efforts must become part of the universal health care system, and treatment must be offered as part of general healthcare.

Op-ed - Bistandsaktuelt

Norway Global health

ODA increases by US$135 million in Norway's final 2017 budget

Norway's final 2017 budget has offered a US$135-million increase in ODA funding, with additional resources freed up as a result of reduced refugee-related costs in the country. The increase will mainly be allocated to the following causes within sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle-East:

  • US$56 million for humanitarian assistance in South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and Bangladesh, and other under-funded crises;
  • US$14.5 million to transitional assistance for stabilization in Iraq through the UNDP;
  • US$14.9 million to the World Bank Fund for Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon;
  • US$11.2 million to a regional grant for Africa;
  • US$2.5 million to Norfund;
  • US$24.8 million to GAVI;
  • US$ 11.2 million to the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi)

News article - Bistandsaktuelt (in Norwegian)


Norad reports on need to strengthen ODA toward education

A new report by Konterra Group for the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) found that, although Norwegian ODA earmarked for education in crisis-affected regions has achieved considerable impact, outcomes could have been improved through better coordination. Currently, the Norwegian government is relying heavily on trusting that recipient NGOs are using the funding to maximize impact. Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide says that the government needs to facilitate dialogues with recipient organizations in order to strengthen impact and properly monitor outcomes.

News article - Bistandsaktuelt (in Norwegian)


Norway reaffirms its climate commitments at COP 23

At the UN Climate Conference (COP 23) in Bonn, Norwegian Minister of Climate and the Environment Vidar Helgesen reaffirmed Norway's commitment to the Paris Agreement, highlighting the country's goal to become a low-emission society by 2050. Helgesen also reiterated Norway's dedication to the collective goal of mobilizing US$100 billion to support developing countries in mitigating and adapting to climate change. 

According to Helgesen, the Talanoa Dialogue, scheduled to be held in 2018, will be "crucial to close the emission gap".

Press release - Norwegian government